• (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), it is an offense to knowingly sell or attempt to sell to a scrap metal dealer or for a scrap metal dealer to knowingly purchase or attempt to purchase the following types of scrap metal:

    • Terms Used In Tennessee Code 62-9-106

      • Commissioner: means the commissioner of commerce and insurance or the commissioner's designee or, in the event of the commissioner's or designee's absence or vacancy in the office of the commissioner, the deputy commissioner. See Tennessee Code 62-9-101
      • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
      • Department: means the department of commerce and insurance. See Tennessee Code 62-9-101
      • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
      • Highway: includes public bridges and may be held equivalent to the words "county way" "county road" or "state road". See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
      • Person: means an individual, association, partnership, corporation, or any other legally cognizable organization or entity. See Tennessee Code 62-9-101
      • Property: includes both personal and real property. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Record: means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in a perceivable form. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Road: includes public bridges and may be held equivalent to the words "county way" "county road" or "state road". See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Scrap metal: means any ferrous or nonferrous metal that is no longer used for its original purpose and is capable of being processed for reuse by a metal recycling facility, including, but not limited to, iron, brass, wire, cable, copper, bronze, aluminum, platinum, lead, solder, steel, stainless steel, catalytic converters or other similar obsolete ferrous or nonferrous metals, but shall not include recyclable aluminum cans. See Tennessee Code 62-9-101
      • Scrap metal dealer: means a person who buys, exchanges or deals in scrap metal or an employee or agent of that dealer who has the express or implied authority to buy, exchange or deal in scrap metal on behalf of the dealer. See Tennessee Code 62-9-101
      • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • written: includes printing, typewriting, engraving, lithography, and any other mode of representing words and letters. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

      (1) Scrap metal marked with the initials of an electric, telephone, cable or other public utility or an electric or telephone cooperative;

    • (2) Utility access covers;

    • (3) Street light poles and fixtures;

    • (4) Road and bridge guard rails;

    • (5) Highway or street signs;

    • (6) Water meter covers;

    • (7) Traffic directional and control signs;

    • (8) Traffic light signals;

    • (9) Any scrap metal visibly marked or painted with the name of a government entity, business, company or the name of the owner of the metal;

    • (10) Property owned by a telephone, cable, electric, water or other utility, an electric or telephone cooperative or a railroad, and marked or otherwise identified as such; and

    • (11) Unused and undamaged historical markers or grave markers and vases.

  • (b) It is an exception to application of this section that the person attempting to sell the scrap metal provides reasonable, written documentation that the seller is the owner of the scrap metal or is an employee, agent or other person authorized to sell the scrap metal on behalf of the owner. The dealer shall make a photo copy of any documentation provided pursuant to this subsection (b) and retain the copy as part of the transaction record.

  • (c) In order for this section to apply to items of scrap metal covered by subdivision (a)(9), the scrap metal must be marked or painted in accordance with a uniform scrap metal marking system to be devised by the department as part of its rules and regulations. In devising the marking system, the department may consult with, or request recommendations from, other state or local government departments or private companies that currently mark property. The commissioner may also appoint a committee to develop the uniform scrap metal marking system. If so appointed, the committee shall consist of at least five (5) members but no more than seven (7) members with at least one (1) member selected from each of the following groups: the scrap metal industry, the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association, the Home Builders Association of Tennessee, and a member of the public who is not engaged in law enforcement, the scrap metal industry or the home building industry.

  • (d)

    • (1)

      • (A) Any person selling or attempting to sell metal to a scrap metal dealer in violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor unless the value of the metal, in its original and undamaged condition, in addition to any costs which are, or would be, incurred in repairing or in the attempt to recover any property damaged in the theft or removal of such metal, is in an aggregate amount which exceeds five hundred dollars ($500), in which case such person shall be guilty of a Class E felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished only by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

      • (B) Any scrap metal dealer purchasing or attempting to purchase scrap metal in violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

    • (2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude a person violating this section from also being prosecuted for theft or any other applicable offense.